Riley Herbst Makes First Superspeedway Race

Riley Herbst

Event: Sugarlands Shine 250 (Race 20 of 23), 94 Laps – 20/20/54; 250.04 Miles
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: Oct. 12, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90

What You Need to Know

In this week’s Sugarlands Shine 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, 20-year-old Riley Herbst will drive the No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts Toyota Tundra. Herbst is making his third and final start for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in 2019. For Herbst, it will be his first superspeedway start in NASCAR competition, but he has made five superspeedway starts in the ARCA Racing Series, including three at Talladega. Most recently, the talented youngster finished second at the 2.66-mile tri-oval in the April race, crossing the stripe .149 seconds behind Todd Gilliland, who will be his teammate this weekend.

In his last outing for Kyle Busch Motorsports, Herbst piloted the No. 46 Tundra to a 15th-place finish at Iowa Speedway. In his other start for KBM this season, Herbst earned a ninth-place finish at Kansas Speedway.

The Las Vegas native is also competing in a part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in 2019. He has posted three top-10 finishes across his eight starts this year. In addition to limited schedules in the Gander Trucks and Xfinity Series, Herbst has two top-five and five top-10 finishes across seven ARCA Racing Series starts in 2019, including a pair of runner-up finishes. Herbst was a full-time competitor in the ARCA Racing Series in 2018, where he finished third in the championship standings after posting eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, resulting in an average finish of 8.3 across 20 starts and earned the series Rookie of the Year honors in 2017.

In Sin City in September, Christian Eckes piloted the No. 51 to a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after earning the pole position. Heading into the Round of 6, the No. 51 team is tied for third in the owner’s points standings with 3015 markers, two points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4. The No. 51 team, which has earned six total wins in 2019, five wins with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel and one win with veteran driver Greg Biffle at Texas Motor Speedway, will look to bring home the organization’s seventh owner’s title. Overall across 19 starts the No. 51 team has three poles, 12 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.

Veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle leads the No. 51 team this season. Fugle has guided his team to four Owner’s Championships (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017) as a crew chief at KBM, including combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championships with Erik Jones in 2015 and Christopher Bell in 2017. The New York native’s drivers have combined for 28 wins, 23 poles, 68 top-five and 105 top-10 finishes across his 132 races calling the shots for the organization. In five starts at Talladega, Fugle’s drivers have two top-five and four top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 5.6 and an average finish of 7.8, with a best finish of second with Christopher Bell in 2017.

Riley Herbst, Driver Q&A

What are some of the challenges of going to Talladega for the first time in a truck?

“I’m really looking forward to going to Talladega this weekend in the KBM 51 Toyota Tundra. It’s going to be super challenging learning the draft and staying in the pack, but hopefully we can keep it out front all day long.”

How does your experience in ARCA help you this weekend?

“I think the experience I have on the plate tracks with the ARCA car can relate to the draft a little bit, but the trucks are a lot different than the car so we’ll have to see how those interchange with each other and see what the differences are for sure.”

What have you done to prepare for this race?

“Definitely watched a bunch of film to see how passes are made, how to set up for passes and race winning moves and things of that nature.”

Riley Herbst Career Highlights

Has recorded two top-10 finishes and an average finish of 15.2 across six career Gander Truck Series starts. His best result of eighth came in his series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park in June of 2018.


Has posted four top-10 finishes, across nine career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. Posted a Xfinity Series best finish of sixth in his series debut at Iowa Speedway last June. Across 46 career ARCA Racing Series starts has collected one win (Pocono Raceway, 2017), one pole, 310 laps led, 16 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.7.

Named the 2017 ARCA Racing Rookie of the Year after posting one win, one pole, 203 laps led, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes.

Riley Herbst’s No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts Tundra:

KBM-051: The No. 51 Monster Energy/Advance Auto Parts team will unload chassis KBM-051 for Saturday’s Sugarlands Shine 250. This chassis has only been run once, by Christian Eckes at Daytona, where he won the pole but was caught up in a wreck on lap 62.

KBM-051 Performance Profile:
Starts
Wins
Average Start
Average Finish
Laps Led
1
0
1.0
22.0
1

KBM Notes of Interest

KBM drivers have earned one win, 53 laps led, five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.3 across 22 starts at Talladega Superspeedway.

Owner-driver Kyle Busch earned the organization’s first and only victory at Talladega Superspeedway in 2010, one of Rowdy’s eight wins in the team’s debut season.

KBM holds the Gander Truck Series records for most career wins (74) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).


The No. 51 is the winningest number in the KBM stable with 30 trips to victory lane in Gander Trucks action.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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